Pupils warm to healthy cooking in battle against East End child obesity

Pupils were the toast of success when they competed in a school’s ‘cook off’ contest as part of a programme to tackle child obesity in London’s East End.

The heats at Bethnal Green’s Bangabandhu Primary’s healthy eating competition boiled down to two ‘highly commended’ and two winners out of 33 competitors who’ve been learning about healthy eating in the school’s cooking club.

The scrumptious fish pie recipe cooked by 10-year-old Syarah Shillito took first ‘plaice’ with her healthy twist on the traditional dish using potatoes instead of pastry. Second prize went to nine-year-old Freya Samuel-Smith’s carrot and lentil soup.

The contest encouraged youngsters between five and 11 to create healthy dishes using items from the Nisa corner shop in the Roman Road as part of a health programme to reduce risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer later in life.

East End kids eat fewer portions of fruit and vegetables a day compared to the national average, NHS researchers have found, with child obesity the second highest among 10-year-olds and 7th highest among the under 5s in London.

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